Why Fraud Is Still Costing Companies Dear; Conference Will Heighten Awareness

By Goodman, Fay | The Birmingham Post (England), May 6, 1998 | Go to article overview

Why Fraud Is Still Costing Companies Dear; Conference Will Heighten Awareness


Goodman, Fay, The Birmingham Post (England)


Billions of pounds are lost every year through fraud - on average six per cent of turnover.

To a small business, this can not only wipe out profits but also put it in jeopardy of survival.

The problem with fraud is that it is not just one tangible crime such as burglary. It can be many different types of crime.

In addition, the type of fraud changes as new ingenious scams rear their ugly heads.

Many of us may be aware of examples such as the Nigerian fax where bank details are requested to receive money for a period of time for which a high commission will be paid. No strings attached!

But more than 30 per cent of businesses strangle themselves by falling for this ploy.

This scam has been operating for over ten years - the tactics are the same but the faxes have improved tremendously in design, content and presentation.

Eight years on and businesses are still being caught for European grants and business rate reductions.

Unscrupulous companies with their slick style manage to secure anything from pounds 300 upwards in advance for a service they have no intention of delivering.

As we near the Millennium, and with new technology, opportunities are presented to those who will use devious measures to access information and money.

Advances in telephone banking and doing business over the the Internet present wonderful opportunities for small businesses to show their wares further afield - even a worldwide market. But caution is the word.

Birmingham is the largest financial centre outside London, which makes it even more important to get the "action against fraud" message home. It is all about awareness, sharing information, and taking action.

So concerned are the police, fraud investigators and various public and private representatives, that a new Action Against Fraud group has been set up. The aim is to fight fraud and encourage business, especially small businesses, to be more aware of the many different types of fraud and to protect themselves from becoming victims.

We need to ensure the West Midlands is seen as a safe area for people to carry out their business and investment transactions. …

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